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Hower08

Deep cranking.

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I like to consider myself a fairly avid and well versed bass and multi species angler. But one thing I cannot get to click with my brain is deep cranking. Now where I'm at in Ohio, deep would be around 20' give or take a few depending on the lake . 

 

I have the correct equipment for big deep diving cranks so that's not the issue. I just cannot seem to ever get on a good or even decent bite. I will get 1 maby 2 then nothing. Shallow water cranks I do very well with in depths up to 12 foot or so. It's that 15+ depth range where I just can't get it to come together

 

What are some tips or tricks to be more successful for deep cranking. I am talking largemouth if that makes a difference to anyone.

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I'm not a deep cranking expert by any means.

However, like most all the success I do have with any presentation, providing it's the right one  - it's all about being in the right place at the right time.

If your bait & tackle are good, then what may be 'off' is where you're using it.

Seems a change may be in order.

Perhaps try harder bottom areas - and the more bottom contact you can have with the bait, the better.

Grind It.

 Ealy summer and late summer (early fall here) are my favorite & most productive 'times' to dredge the depths.

Good Luck

:smiley:

A-Jay

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In the lakes that I fish, deep cranking is all about grass lines and where grass lines intersect other grass lines as well as other structure. Main key would be location, i guess. I like to fish places I know I have deep water success so my success rate is going to be higher and I have confidence there are fish in the area.

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For me, if I am using a deep crank it's because nothing else biting at regular depths (around 6-10 feet).  I tend to shoot for deep long points and drop-offs with rocks and humps.   But the most important thing, IMHO, is a super long cast and then maybe moving the boat away from the bait (20 feet at the most) while feeding some line out, that way the lure has plenty of time and distance to reach the correct running depth.  Work each area of a point slowly, a 5.x reel works best for me and try to hit the bottom, making the lure bounce off the structure slowly.

 

 

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Awesome info guys . I typically do fish them in areas I'm confident in producing fish. And I do try to fish cranks that run deeper than the actual water depth to Maintain more bottom contact. walleye trick I use for fishing inland lakes without weights and ledcore.

 

Also I'm fishing them on. 7'3 med heavy mod cranking rod with a 5.4:1 reel on 10# flouro. So maintaining bottom contact isnt a problem I have. 

 

I fish them in areas that I catch fish dragging jigs or plastics which is why I'm so d**n confused! Because in my head when those stop working and you know the fish are there certainly cranking would work. But nope not for me!! May be time to explore some new areas

What I really hate is when I mark fish on super steep drops in talking from the bank, points dropping into 20 foot or so you know the fish are there and you know your crank is in there face and you can't make them bite. And you know they're bass because you flipping snag one . Makes me wanna throw my cranking stuff in the drink!!

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Sounds like you have the gear and are very close to figuring this thing out.  Anytime I am trying to dial in a new technique, I immerse myself in youtube and keep watching untill I get it.  For cranking, videos by Timmy Horton, Keith Combs, Mark Menendez, and Zona would be worth watching.  All are crankbait masters, and excellent teachers.  Keep at it man, it will come!

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I think alot of it may be a timing issue and a little bit location. Possibly I'll keep watching vids and talking to people till I get it or my head explodes

 

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11 hours ago, Hower08 said:

And you know they're bass because you flipping snag one

   I'm old and my memory is bad, but something about snagging bass on a crankbait is real important. That bass 1) didn't see the crankbait as a threat, 2) wasn't interested, and 3) didn't move.  Yet they hit jigs and plastics.  Hmmmmm.......  Plastics move slow. Low oxygen, maybe?    jj

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Deep cranking (below 12') is a tough one that usually requires the fish to be in a certain mood and the lake to setup properly for it. Let me ask you this. Are you successful in catching largemouth with other presentations at these depths? If yes, then why worry about deep cranking? If no, I would try to master a few other deep water presentations first before trying to master deep cranking. 

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Years ago I was very fond of deep cranking 15 to 20ft....I don't even own a dedicated deep cranking Rod now so I've gotten away from the technique in the past few years. The one thing which I found helpful was knowing why the fish would be in that depth, are they feeding at that depth or are they just wanting cooler water or less exposure to the sun. So many variables play in. But in a scenario where bass are stacking up deep on a ledge or deep drop off, the #1 thing to focus on is casting angle and changing that casting angle repeatedly. Once you catch the 2 or 3 hungry bass on the reaction crankbait bite, try covering that same area with a football head jig or even a drop shot. Maybe this will help you milk the area for more bass. But I must say deep cranking on the Great Lakes is very difficult in comparison to deep cranking an impoundment, and I think because with impoundments, there is more predictable current and obvious areas where bass may choose to hold deep.....if you are deep cranking smallies on the Great Lakes ? it's like chasing a ghost , they can be anywhere and everywhere and the schools move around a lot. 

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2 hours ago, Hower08 said:

I think alot of it may be a timing issue and a little bit location. Possibly I'll keep watching vids and talking to people till I get it or my head explodes

 

I'm lost on deep cranking period, never even caught a single fish.  So you're at least ahead of me and I feel like my head has already exploded.  

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I a not a fan of FC line for crankbaits, it's difficult to cast long distances in windy conditions and doesn't add more then a few inches of diving depth because every lure reaches it's maximum depth regardless of the line type, diameter is more important.

You may also have a thermocline shallower then the deep diving lures depth and fishing under the majority of the active feeding bass.

Medium heavy crankbait rod limits what deep divers you can use, can't use a 8XD or 10XD and even DD 22's effectively.

Tom

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I have had some good days in recent years cranking down to 22 foot . I keep it simple . I look to see how deep the shad are  . If the shad are showing up at deep depths on the main lake then I will go to the points  and fish those depths . Berkely Dredgers have helped a lot because they dive to their advertised depth on 12 lb Big Game. I select  the one that dives deeper than the depth I'm targeting . At 15 foot I'll use the 17.5 . at 17 foot the 20.5 at 20 foot the 25.5 .

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Try to respond to all above. I mainly fish Inland lakes not erie. When I'm fishing these lakes deep I'm fishing ledges steep drops and points and yes I can catch them on other baits most times. This is just another tool for me to learn to be effective with. 

 

Our thermoclines set up very clear on the lakes that develop them during the hottest parts of the year. I have at times caught myself fishing below the thermocline and stopped as soon as I realised what I was doing. 

 

Surprisingly enough I don't have an issue with getting long casts with flouro line. In the beginning I did untill I learned to cast effectively with a new style of line which did take a bit of time and frustration to get there! I fish two different cranking rods. A m/h mod and a medium moderate rod both with slower gear reels. I switch between these two rods for cranking depending on the size of the cranks I'm fishing and how badly they pull. Or are you suggesting a heavy action rod for the super deep divers? I may have misunderstood your suggestion on rods.

 

I wish I could just catch them flipping and pitching all day. That's my obsession and most productive way to fish.(All confidence) I need to get in the boat with someone who shines at deep water cranking and pick their brain on what and why they are doing certain things to be successful with it. 

 

 

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I have been working on my deep cranking now for a few years, I try to do it on every trip when the sun comes up. Also still trying to figure out my electronics, but I have learned a ton from watching the Mikey Balzz Videos of him deep cranking the Orlando Lakes and Lake O, he used to only pitch, now he is landing double 9lb bass on video on same 6xd (No Joke) one on each treble...I believe it happened this winter but its a title of one of his videos, He goes as light as 8lb fluoro but I think 10 is his main size, he explains which lines he uses and why, every detail you could want to get that nobody would normally share...I just wish I had the GPS locations...

 

He makes great videos to learn, he shows all his electronic readings, what he is seeing, then his exact reel, rod, crankbait, set up etc...He puts up crazy results in 20-30' of water long lining and he only uses 3 crankbaits.

 

10xd, 6xd, then the Rapala DT 16 long lined, he doesn't use rattles, but instead uses owner clips to the ring on the crankbait which I would have never done. His point is in deep water they are not seeing the details, He has been putting up videos of deep cranking for about 3 years, and he has pretty much figured it out and shares every tip. I highly suggest watching them. every video has multiple bass deep cranking from 8-11lbs some bigger. 

 

I don't do nearly as well as he does, do not have the spots he does, or the time on the water, but I realized a few things that has helped me.

 

I keep it simple with lures. One bright color, one shad color, and the 6xd is my workhorse that I have the most confidence in. I dont use the swivel to split ring, just can't, but I will use a rattle version and silent and sometimes it matters.

 

I have not figured out the 10xd, I would like to get more confidence in it cause they do produce giants. I believe the #1 key is understanding what you see on the electronics, feeling the shell etc...I only use the Bomber #8 in firetiger or citrus shad, 6xd, and the Berkley digger cause of the smaller profile. Kind of a plastic copy of the DT 16 but that is the bait he kills them on when the bite slows or lake is crowded etc...I guess with long lining you can get them deeper, so its just trial and error.

 

He also does a good job of showing how to slay big bass on Hair Jigs in deep water, Ben Parket Magnum spoons and now he loves the Mag Ned rig with a Gambler O Beast, Football jig with a wacky rigged o Beast....

 

I don't know the guy, but he is super generous with his knowledge....He also has the luxury to fish every day so that helps. 

 

Deep cranking is hard, however, Electronics make it much more efficient. At least you know you are throwing at fish and not just reeling...

 

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Awesome info thank you very much! I will try to find his cranking videos. I have watched some of his stuff before he's a very smart fellow. And on the hair jigs my dad is the man with them things. 3/4 oz hair jigs swimming them In SHALLOW water wacks hawgs for him. I've never been able to duplicate his results. d**n old guys and there secrets haha

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From my rather limited experience with deep cranks, my success has generally came fishing areas with a fairly steep drop off not too far from the shallow shoreline on a sandy bottom lake for smallies. And as A-Jay and others already said, if you can hop that bait off of the bottom that will only help you as just like with any other cranks, bass tend to hit right after you hit the bottom which causes a deflection.

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I think @A-Jay is pretty close to what part of your problem maybe... timing is off. I know from the deep cranking I have done to be successful you have to find active fish. Fish that are neutral or non active don’t seem to eat a crank. Try working your spots multiple times through out the day and see if they turn on at a different time. Also I won’t try deep cranking if there isn’t a presence of bait fish in the area either, I’ve had no success if they are absent while trying to deep crank.

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11 hours ago, Hower08 said:

 d**n old guys and there (their) secrets haha

We are usually fishing slower than you young bucks...

 

oe

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Okoboji I would typically agree with that but, I'm the one always telling people to slow down when I'm fishing with them. I get my slow fishing from spending so many hours fishing inland for walleyes.  

 

 And swbass you two may have very well hit the nail on the head and I could be throwing to inactive fish 

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Well, if you are open to trolling, that's the ticket. Maximize depth and cover the most water.

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+1 on mikeyBalzz videos on YouTube. His cranking videos, equipment, and long line videos are the best. Guy cranked up 49 for his best 5 and over 100 that day. Unreal. 

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I looked up the Mikey ballz cranking videos. And we will troll for saugeyes and stuff but rarely bass although we do catch them sometimes when we are trolling 

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They're limited to pretty specific conditions for me anymore.  Fish sitting on/along rather steep drops/ledges; I try to crank parallel to, and slightly up, the ledges -- attempting to bang rock most of the way back up the slope.

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Deep cranking might not be as prevalent in your area or as productive. I know down south on reservoirs it is very prevalent but some areas just aren't the same fisheries.  First thing first mark the fish on a graph. If you aren't finding fish in 20FOW you aren't going to magically catch fish that aren't there. As some have said if a football jig or carolina rig works in your area don't re-invent the wheel.

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